News : Pedro: Iñaki Gabilondo’s brother who loves athletics
He is a 72-year-old retired man who has been a special envoy to 9 Olympic Games and 7 Cross World Cups from a provincial newspaper. His name is Pedro Gabilondo and as a child he went to school every day reading MARCA.
By his side, envy is healthy
Why am I not going to envy a journalist who has traveled to nine Olympic Games, from Munich 72?
What’s more, I would have liked to be him in ’68 when Ron Clarke, the Australian athlete who broke 17 world records, came to San Sebastián and the editor-in-chief sent him, who was a young intern, to interview him.
– You would like to go?
– Oh yes please, How exciting.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today: the illusion that never gets cold.
And of Pedro Gabilondo, who is now a 72-year-old man, a retiree who lives 150 meters from the sea in the Gros neighborhood of San Sebastián and, if he thinks so, of that kid who went to school every day ” reading the ‘Brand’ ”.
He then realized that “the newspaper was sacred” and that it could not be anything else in life: a journalist.
Fate gave him its painless help when one of his Iñaki brothers, the great Iñaki Gabilondo, six years older than him, said to their parents:
-I want to study journalism.
His parents answered him then:
-Like Lolita, the woman who sells newspapers? But is that studying?
All are memories today for Pedro Gabilondo who was ‘Mister Gabilondo’ for so many years traveling the world, writing in a hurry, thinking faster.
– How is it that a journalist from the provinces went to so many places? -He wonders today.
He answers himself:
-I was lucky that my newspaper belonged to a large group.
And he went to those 9 Olympic Games and those 7 World Cross World Cups and, from there, he explained to us what this was what so much we are passionate: athleticism.
And we are passionate about him as he is now passionate about Odei Jainaga and his javelin and his throws and his 23 year old Odei earth athlete.
But yesterday, uff, yesterday it was all so suffocating, “you wrote on the platform and you had to run down to see what the athletes were saying”, in a hurry, almost always in a hurry, even when you didn’t expect them.
At 2 a.m. in Seoul in the JJOO from Seoul 88, a woman appeared saying:
-Ben Johnson, Pedro, Ben Johnson has tested positive.
“Well, we’ll write it tomorrow,” he answered.
– Like what tomorrow if in Spain it is now 8 in the afternoon?
And he had to get hands to the work, to the key.
But that was the world of those years like in that European one in Athens of 1982, in which he sent the chronicle by telex, and everything was ok, how lucky and how fast, until he called his newspaper, ‘Has it arrived?’ ‘no, it hasn’t arrived’, ‘and how?’
-The next day they called one Zaragoza chocolate factory that they had received the chronicle, that if they needed it -remember today.
-The operator had made a mistake when dialing the prefix.
How crazy journalism.
Pedro Gabilondo remembers summers in which he worked the 90 days followed, on weekends and weekends at the foot of the canyon, to tell his wife: “you are a journalist’s widow.”
When Pedro Gabilondo first retired, he continued doing interviews: it is so difficult to do without this passion, he justifies.
Today, that time has passed; today, that he is the father of “two doctors and a television scriptwriter”; today, that every time you see a obituary in the Newspaper feel what we lose a reader.
Pedro Gabilondo belongs to that time when El Diario Vasco sold “100,000 newspapers and had a reading rate comparable to that of Sweden and Norway”, what times, my goodness.
Pedro also remembers that trip to the European in Budapest with the Spanish athletics team.
-But at the airport there was a tremendous snowfall and we could not land and we had to do it in Frankfurt and do 600 km in bus and I remember on the border with Hungary, where the police stopped us to register us and the only thing they took were the athletes’ ‘Interviu’ magazines.
Pedro Gabilondo laughs or ironizes today, who was never an athlete.
-At most, he aspired to be a good substitute goalkeeper in football.
-But I did go to Anoeta on Sundays to see my friends run After mass.
And then Zatopek came to San Sebastián. And Mamo Wolde. And Ben Jonshon. And Carl Lewis. And even Bekele.
And Pedro Gabilondo, with that mustache that he grew, was always there.
Pedro: the fourth of Iñaki Gabilondo’s nine siblings, among whom he has no doubt that “The butcher is the most important” and note that in that family “there are three journalists, two doctors, a nun, an administrative and another who works in a cerebral palsy association.”
But nothing like freshly cooked meat: memories of the father, who was a butcher.
And how time passed, mother.
Today they are all older gentlemen: age.
“If they make you a boss, you no longer do what you like,” said Pedro Gabilondo in his later years in ‘El Diario Vasco’ when you they made vice principal.
But this is the life that we review today as if it were the lyrics of a song, an umbrella that opens and closes and reminds us that on his first trip abroad to write about athletics in 71 he proposed to his newspaper:
-You you pay the half and I paid the other half, ‘he told them.
Since then he cannot hide what he loves from this profession that taught him to love, above all, athletics and handball and that today sleeps in his albums of black and white photographs, where memories, at last, run slowly.